100 years on and Lib Dems go backwards on Scotland
The Lib Dems’ latest offering to the independence referendum debate shows they are a party going backwards, an SNP MSP has said.
The Libs Dems’ inappropriately-named ‘home rule’ plan drops the recommendation - put forward by the Steel Commission at their Spring Conference in March 2006 - of devolving oil and gas revenue to Scotland.
Linda Fabiani MSP, who chaired the Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee, during which Lib Dem members voted against devolving corporation tax and a number of other powers to Scotland, said:
“The Lib Dems are going backwards. They have slashed their proposals for Scotland from six years ago and they have blocked the transfer of many of the powers they outline in today’s plan in the recently-passed Scotland Act.
“One of their proposals today is devolving Air Passenger Duty - which was recommended for the Scotland Bill and not delivered, as the anti-independence parties including the Lib Dems voted against it.
“And apart from anything else, after the Lib Dems' disgraceful broken promise on tuition fees, no-one will believe a word they say on anything ever again. The people of Scotland won’t be fooled by this miserly half-baked offering.
“By the fact that they refused to announce this before now it shows that they obviously they don’t trust the people of Scotland to test their plans at the ballot box.
“Of course, many people in Scotland haven’t forgotten that they were promised a ‘better form of devolution’ in return for a no vote in 1979 – and instead they were given eighteen years of Tory Westminster rule.
“It’s no wonder that the Lib Dem leadership is facing public criticism and resistance from within their party to Willie Rennie’ illiberal and undemocratic snub of Yes Scotland’s wish to buy a stand at their party conference.
“People in Scotland are becoming increasingly aware that the only way to get the significant job-creating powers devolved to Scotland is through a vote for independence. After all, it is far better that all of these decisions are taken by the people who care about Scotland most – that is, the people living here.”
Notes: read the Steel commission here: http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk/files/steelcommission.pdf